Thursday, September 27, 2007


Emily, from Wheels on the Bus, kindly agreed to interview even though I am a lousy commenter over at her place. Check her out. Her blog is in the midst of a change but whatever it settles into it will be good. Her writing is inspiring.

1) What started you blogging?

I'd taken a hiatus from writing after discovering several years ago that I was not actually cut out for what I assumed I'd do when I grew up. Specifically, write fiction. I don't think I've ever managed to satisfactorily end a story. Clearly this was not the calling I thought it was, and I buried my disappointment in not writing at all. Blogging has allowed me to reconnect with an essential part of myself that I was afraid I had lost. I love to write, tell stories, and make people laugh; blogging allows me to do all three.

2) You seem very close to your family. Please tell me something (1 or 2 sentences) about each.

Well, as a collective they're fairly insane, but always in a way that makes for very good stories. My parents have been married for almost 38 years. My nephews call my dad Grumpy instead of Grandpa. This is actually quite appropriate. He's like a burnt marshmallow, crusty on the outside but soft on the inside. My mom is now a lunch lady in the elementary school I went to. Which is weird. Update!!!! She has been fired after a scandal involving lunch money!!! I never knew you had it in ya, Mom. And before you protest, please note that update was factually correct even if a bit... misleading. ;)

My sister Lib has produced [just for me!] one of the all-time cutest nephews in the world. For Christmas she is making me my first niece!! Right now she is on bed rest so that my Christmas present will not arrive too early. She is also one of my closest friends.

My sister Julie was born while we were living in Venezuela and she met her Welsh husband while they were both working on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. She is the adventurous, world traveler of the family. Also (according to my dad) she is the smartest.

My brother Daniel married at a ridiculously young age but he's also (co)produced two of the all-time cutest nephews in the world, so I don't really mind. He's married to Danielle. No, really. Sometimes we call them Dan & Dan.

My brother Zach is in the army. He's in Iraq. All I want for Christmas (besides a healthy niece) is for him to come home safe and sound. And possibly come to California to live with me. We like to talk about books.

My brother Sean is a red-headed ladies man. When he was small he always had a harem of neighborhood girls following him around. Not much has changed. I called him Pookie when he was wittle.

My baby sister Katie is 16- the same age that I was when she was born. I am old! Katie is my clone. She loves books more than people and cultivates writing skills and sarcasm.

It was fun and crazy and sometimes frustrating growing up in a large family. As the oldest I got to boss everybody around but I also felt responsible for taking care of my siblings and when I couldn't, I sometimes took it out on them. Emily, I know, in a small way, how Helen felt. Don't give up on her, she might not be able to express it now, but I know she loves you.

3) What do you like most about where you live?

The weather and the beauty of the landscape. I moved to Northern California with no intention of staying here. I thought I'd stay for a year, experience life in the other side of the country, then go back to New England where I belonged. I thought milder climes were for wimps. The first winter I spent without winter reminded me that I have always been a wimp and I decided to stop trying to fight it. Also, I have a great community of friends and loved ones here and I like that I made it myself.

4) Who do you most like to spend Saturday afternoon with?

Up until recently I worked every Saturday. I have however,

a) started getting weekends off
b) found someone who I rather enjoy spending them with :)

I can't tell you his name as this is the internet and tons of people three people read this blog so his superhero identity would be compromised if I told you his name. I will call him Shmichael because that way you will never figure out what his real name is. He fetches things for me when my knee is broken. He brought me a gen-oo-wine ice pack so I don't have to rely on frozen corn anymore. He is nice. I think I will keep him.

5) How would you describe Monday mornings in your life?

My work schedule is changeable so it varies, but on a typical Monday morning I sleep late, dawdle over breakfast while reading blogs & email, then head into work around 12:30. The drawback to this is that I don't get home until 9:30 or 10. I work at this fun store and I get paid to wrap presents!!!

This is for Lib, who is bored and has run out of books.

updated 10/02
I forgot to add that I'd be happy to interview anyone else (Katie?). Just leave a coment or send me an email.

Monday, September 24, 2007


My sweet little baby brother is in Iraq.

I haven't written about this because I live in denial, and I enjoy it here. The thought that something bad might happen to him is one that I refuse to entertain in more than a vague, unspoken sort of way. I hate it when people talk about people they know who've been killed in this war because they threaten to burst my safe little bubble and make me face the fact that Zach is in grave danger and there's nothing concrete I can do to protect him.

I was eleven when Zach was born. He was my "first" baby. The first sibling I was old enough to take care of without adult supervision. I fed him rice cereal before he had teeth, changed his diapers, rocked him, loved him. I called him Bubby and he thought it was his name. On the first day of kindergarten his teacher addressed him as Zachary and I can picture him folding his chubby little arms stubbornly and replying defiantly, "I'm not Zachtawy, I'm Bubby!" This reply has entered the realm of family lore.

I watched him grow from a lovable little ball of belly laughs into a shy little boy with glasses; and then watched his baby fat melt into longer limbs and a face-full of whiskers. He came back from boot camp a strong serious young man, but when he grins, the lovable little boy reappears.

I cringed as he told me that his job in Iraq would be to patrol one of the more dangerous roads in a war zone finding and detonating IED's. I wanted to lock him up, keep him safe. I don't want him involved in this stupid war. But he's not a little boy anymore. He's grown into a man that I am incredibly proud of and I have to respect the roads he's taken. I love you, Zach.


Did you know that crepe streamers are almost exactly like ace bandages? More fragile, yes, but with the same stretchy qualities. Excellent. This is what led to me scooting around the kitchen on a wheeled office chair with a bag of frozen corn tied to my knee with a purple party streamer. Not the only thing, obviously. It was a combination of hunger and extreme kneecap pain that made it.. somewhat unpleasant to walk added to the lack of a proper ice pack or ace bandage. Ingenuity or insanity? You pick.

I don't have any idea what's wrong. I'm going to try to get a doctor's appt tomorrow but for now I am hitting the leftover Vicodin and indulging in couch-sitting cookie-therapy. My favorite kind. Possibly, later, a cute boy will come over and then I will look pathetic and order him to collect random objects for me.

Fetch me that pitcher, farm boy

All in all, well worth the pain.

Monday, September 17, 2007


My mom has requested that I point out that she is not smelling her armpit in the picture several posts earlier, she is, um, playing alligator with Katie. Because that's way more normal and not at all embarrassing.

She would also like to point out that she thinks I am the brightest of all her children and incredibly brilliant besides and that she totally loves me the best. But don't tell my siblings.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Davenhooliganports, cont.

A brief quiz

Match the captions with the photos:

__Katie and Dan, before the dental work.
__The cutest lil' Christmas present ever
__Delightful dancing domestic diva

Extra credit:

__Dad Bear
__Bear Dad
(don't worry, I can't tell them apart either)





Thursday, September 13, 2007

Davenhooliganports. Or, Why I am weird

I was going to post a video, per Lib's request, of Peeyerpants Mountain Rd in Georgia, but blogger will not cooperate. So I offer instead, evidence that my family really is
a) Large
b) Completely Insane.

Hopefully, for those of you who have not had the frightening experience delightful pleasure of meeting them, this will explain a lot about me.
Katie-16, the baby sister. Such debauchery in one so young.
Dad, trimming the lawn by hand. We bought him a lawn mower for Christmas one year, but he prefers to do it, "The same way Moses and Jesus trimmed their lawns." He is an old-fashioned guy, my dad. And very perseverent.
Mom, smelling her armpits. Katie, rolling her eyes, as per usual. For the record, Katie is much more often seen with a book in hand than a beer.
Sean-y Pepper-18, baby bro. Being mock-assaulted by Julie-26 who lives in Wales whales (just like Jonah!)
Our driver for the 2007 East Coast Tour- Georgia or bust. Eyes on the road, mister!

That is by no means all of them, but I seem to have used my alloted picture space for this post. To be continued..

Monday, September 3, 2007

You can't see me!

Three of my favorite boys

Little brother Zach, home on leave from Iraq, with tiny nephew Brady and big boy nephew Luke.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

15 Minutes of Fame

Dude, I'm like, totally famous. Check me out Snooling with Julie in Campbell last month. I'm in #9, of course, since dessert was involved. Aren't Julie & Peter the cutest?


For some strange reason my brain kicks into gear around the time my body is shutting down for the night. Because of this I have gotten into the habit of writing lists for myself, before I go to bed. Lists of things I need to get done the next day. Late at night I can think perfectly clearly about what I need to do, but lack the energy to do anything but go to sleep. By the time I wake up in the morning all is lost. Because I am a space cadet when left to myself, I have trouble finding direction and motivation on my days off and frequently nothing (I am a certified world expert at doing nothing. I could do nothing all day and be perfectly happy. This drives my mother crazy for some reason.) gets done without a list (all right, sometimes with a list, even).

In the interest of full disclosure the lists usually start with 1) Get up and continue with helpful hints like 2) take shower and 3) eat breakfast. Because yes, I need the reminders. Otherwise I sometimes wander around aimlessly for hours trying to decide what to do first. I think I wasn't always this absent minded but I can't really remember.

This morning after heroically achieving #1 and #2 on the list (I did remember to #3 but not until the last minute as I was on my way out the door) I set off into the wide world to accomplish #'s 5-7, namely; Go to the bank, buy fish food, and pick up a prescription. After leaving the pharmacy I looked back at the list and realized that I'd missed #4. The only problem was, I had no idea what #4 was.

4) FM?

Wha...? I was distressed. How could I have no memory of a note I made last night of something I had to do, something so important that I believed it would be obvious to my tomorrow morning self even though it contained only two letters and a question mark ?? What is FM?? What does it mean?? What am I forgetting to do??!?!?

Okay, think.. Foment Mutiny? Free Murderers? Forge Metal? Fake Mono? Fold Magazines? Find Monkeys?

Nothing fit. I finally gave up. In fact I started this post with no idea of what FM? was and assumed I'd forgotten something vitally important. As soon as I typed the letters in though, I remembered. Can you guess what it was? Leave a comment with your guess.

(M & S, you so have an unfair advantage on this one, let the other kids guess first. ;)